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July 9, 1999

Bob Duval


LES UNGER: In the middle of the round today, you had a nice streak of five birdies out of seven holes. I think that was the basis of it all. Pretty good.

BOB DUVAL: I mean, I start out with a bogey on the first hole, and drove it down there with a 3-wood, 10 yards off the front of the green, chipped it right over the green; made bogey. Then birdied 2. And then the three in a row on 7, 8, 9 really helps a round to finish the front nine like that. Then I missed a short birdie on 10, and birdied 11. And what else? 13. I think I played better yesterday than I did today, but I made some putts today. Yesterday, I think I hit 16 greens. And today, I don't know how many I hit, maybe 12. That is not too bad, because I just missed the fringes on the last 3. Played a good round today.

LES UNGER: Was the course somewhat easier today?

BOB DUVAL: I guess where I put the ball in the green made it easier. I had a lot of uphill putts today. Yesterday, I had a lot of downhill putts. I was so I could be a little more aggressive today, so that makes it easier. I mean, yesterday, I really played a good round. And today, I played good and made some putts. That is the whole difference in the round is just making some putts and being able to be aggressive to make them.

Q. 34 putts yesterday, 28 today.

BOB DUVAL: Yeah, I shot 73 yesterday and 68 today. There is the difference right there. So. . . . (laughs)

Q. Bob, did you put yourself in good position with iron-play today to make all those birdies?

BOB DUVAL: I drove it good except for that one drive on 15, and that made 9-iron play a lot easier. I am really hitting it long this week. I mean, I just had into the wind that 9-iron on the last hole; and you know, so that makes it a lot easier. I think I hit 11 fairways again today. Yeah. When you hit 11 fairways, it makes the game a lot easier, because a couple of fairways -- except for 15. I had adventure on 15. But except for 15, I had just missed the fairways.

Q. Go through that adventure on 15.

BOB DUVAL: I got up there, I am going to kill it down there so I can make a birdie, knock it on in two, maybe make eagle. Wind is blowing hard left-to-right, so I aimed it right over those trees there. Right at the last minute, I just pull-hooked it farther left over in 13. And I mean, I had to hit it over Hubert Green's head, who was getting ready to hit on 13 to get back in 17th fairway -- I mean 15th fairway. So, I hit a driver, 9-iron, a wedge, and two putts and made my par.

Q. Can you talk about the changes in your game since the first Senior Open that you played to now?

BOB DUVAL: We played three different-type different golf courses too.

Q. You personally.

BOB DUVAL: Yeah, the first one I was scared, okay. My final-round pairing was with Jack Nicklaus, so I was really scared. I managed to 75. So I got in, in the clubhouse without hurting myself. And last year, I really played a good tournament. I hit it in the rough a few too many times that first part of the week and then shot 68 the last round, which I think low for the week was 67, which was Nicklaus. The last round, I bogeyed two of the last four holes, just by missing the fairways by a couple of feet. I think I have learned that on Open golf course you can't be greedy. You got to take what the golf course gives you. Pars are a really good score. I mean, even though 7-under is leading, I think par is still a good score for come Sunday afternoon. I think par will be an excellent score to get in with. Might not win, but it will be in the Top 5. So you, I think you treat the golf course different when you go out. You are trying to hit fairways, trying to hit greens out here. You are hitting away from some flags on the greens because you just can't go at the flag, because if you make a minor mistake by a couple of feet, you are going to make bogey. So a 30-footer uphill is a lot better than a 10-footer downhill. So you are playing away from some flags. You play a little more conservative at times, and then if you get going pretty good and got your numbers dialed in, which is where you feel really comfortable not hitting half shots, but you got perfect clubs where you can go at some flags, you can be aggressive. And I mean, I was pretty aggressive today on certain holes. And other ones I just tried to make pars on, like, I mean, I wound up making a birdie on 13 today. That is like making an eagle. I mean, I hit a driver and really good drive and 4-iron about ten feet, but I had to straight up the hill. But if I hit it to the right of the flag, I would have been trying to 2-putt for par then. I think you got to be very patient. You look at the leaderboard. I think there is a 7, a 4, a couple of 3s, then 2s then 1s, then zip, right down to even par again. I said at the beginning of the round and the beginning of the week, I will take 288 right now and just sit right here and see what happens; let everybody shoot at it.

Q. This is your third Senior Open. How about your U.S. Open experiences?

BOB DUVAL: Never played one. I just --

Q. You tried?

BOB DUVAL: I tried to qualify when I was a club pro many times. I got about five or six medals for local qualifying for medalists and just never got in. I played one stretch of three years in a row where I missed it by three strokes. And finally I said: They don't want me to play in the Open. I don't want to play in it. They are too good. I can't beat David, so why would I want to play in the Open?

Q. Is your game right now better than when you tried the U.S. Opens?

BOB DUVAL: I think it is. I think I am playing better now than I did ten years ago. I am not hitting it any shorter. In fact, I think I am hitting it longer. And I don't know if that is equipment, balls, or whatever. I am just hitting it solid. And I think I'm thinking better, because I mean, playing as a club pro all those years, you play customer golf and Pro-Ams with members and you go out and just slash it and wing it and hit it, beat it, do whatever you can. Now I am thinking my way around the course a little bit better. We have good yardage books. My caddie is working hard; tells me where not to hit it and where to hit it. And we try to figure out a golf course how we are going to play it and how we are going to attack it or how we are going to play conservative. So I think I am a smarter player than I was ten years ago and that probably makes me a better player.

LES UNGER: You brought up your son. Is there any part of the game that you feel you play better than he does?

BOB DUVAL: No. We play Ponte Vedra during the off-season a lot. Play the back of the tees -- he won't let us play -- Leonard, Thompson, Walter, Morgan, those guys, we all play together. He won't let us play the like the senior tees or something like that. Just tell us we all got our names on our bags, so tee it up and shut-up.

LES UNGER: Thanks.

BOB DUVAL: No shots, no distance, just play. Every now and then when I beat him, when you beat one of the best players in the word, you say, man, I can play too.

Q. At the press conference with David after the TPC in the same Sunday that you won, he said nothing you do on the golf course surprises him because he has seen you go out and make 7, 8, 9 birdies under these conditions, under a course like this. Can you envision yourself really doing lights-out here too?

BOB DUVAL: I think if you get going good on this golf course you can shoot 65, but I mean, I got it to 5-under today after 13 and I am looking -- I looked at the scoreboard once; I said, my God, you are 5-under today, this course isn't playing that easy, so, I guess I got a little nervous out there. I just tried to make pars coming in. I mean, I wasn't even trying to make birdies except for 15 where I duck-hooked it, but I couldn't make birdie after my tee shot. So just -- yeah, I think you can make a lot of birdies, but I think you can make a lot of bogeys if you get careless. If you make more birdies than bogeys out here you are going to have a good score.

LES UNGER: Would you give the distance on your birdies, please.

BOB DUVAL: No. 2 was about three feet. No. 7, about 20 feet. 8 was 20 feet. 9 I 2-putted. 11 about three feet. And 13 about ten feet.

Q. Well, you have made the cut now and not only that, you are in contention for a championship. Does that change the way you approach the next two days?

BOB DUVAL: I don't think so. I mean, I think starting off a championship like the Open, you are just as nervous as you will be; as I will be tomorrow in the first tee because you really know the course is going to be hard. You are going to have to play good to make the cut, or to be in contention. And now I have done that. I am saying I am in contention, you know, nobody -- tomorrow afternoon you will find out who is in contention because 18 holes to go. Right now, yeah, with 36, we are at the halfway point, but no, I won't be any different I don't think. I am just as nervous teeing off the first round as I am the last round.

Q. (inaudible)

BOB DUVAL: It is not two tournaments to me. I just feel like if I played my game I can make the cut here. If I don't I am going to go home early. So I don't put any pressure. I think a lot of the players and some good friends of mine are here that qualified for the Open that aren't playing the SENIOR TOUR and they are club pros and I think they have two tournaments. I think they put a lot of pressure because this is their one shot at the year and they really want to play good and I think they put a lot of pressure on themselves to play good. I mean, if I don't play -- if I didn't play good this week, I will go home for two or three days; then go to Chicago and I am in the Ameritech so we are playing for another 1.2 million, 1.4 million. So it is a little different. There is a lot of guys in this tournament that really want to play good.

Q. Is that one explanation for why guys like you who are touring pros can play this tournament better?

BOB DUVAL: I think it is because you are more comfortable. And I mean, these guys aren't playing U.S. Opens. They are playing one big tournament every year and maybe they will try to qualify for a couple of senior events if they are in their area, but I mean I know how I'd feel if I was playing as a club pro and qualify for the Senior Open and all your members took up a collection and gave you money and sent you to the tournament to have a good time and everything and you are saying, man, I don't want to play bad. I mean, you are trying not to play bad. As a result, you usually do. I am just -- I am out here playing because I am a fully exempt player and I mean, it is another week; it is another tournament, it is our National Championship which is important, but I still got 12 more, 13 more tournaments to play this year, 15 more tournaments. They got their one shot. I feel for them. I really do. Because I have been there. I'd love to see a bunch of them make the cut and get in the final two rounds and go back to their club and their members are going to say, man, this guy is a good player, everything else, you know, but it is embarrassing you see that at other tournaments where the guy goes out and shoots 85 -- and 85 isn't hard to shoot because I have shot 85 in some senior events in the last couple of years, you just get going bad and especially at an Open course, man, you can shoot 90. So I think they put a lot of pressure on themselves. I think that is why you see a lot of the senior players that play the Tour full-time, the majority of them make the cut at a tournament like this because they play every week. They are used to that pressure. They are used to playing the golf courses. They are playing every week. They are hitting it more solid. That is my explanation for that.

Q. I know that you and David are getting along great now and I know there is a lot of friendly rivalry when you do tee it up together and you are learning from each other even though neither of you admits that -- what happens if you are the first Duval to win a major?

BOB DUVAL: That is another thing the media starts, I guess, he is the best player not to win a major now. Three years ago I almost won Pittsburgh; that was before he started his rampage and they were saying that you know, who is going to be the first Duval to win. Well, he won 11 in the time that I won one, so, yeah, if I win the Senior Open that is great and that is a major in the senior world. That is not a major in the Golf World. It is a major in the senior world because not too many seniors can go win the regular U.S. Open anymore. And I think the majors are still the majors. The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and the PGA. And we have our own majors.

End of FastScripts....

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